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Author Topic:   Lowrance Adds Screen Capture
jimh posted 04-05-2008 09:30 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
To many of their sounders and electronic chart display devices, LOWRANCE have added a new feature which permits the user to capture the screen display to a file which is stored on a removable Multi-Media Card-Secure Data (MMC/SD) memory card. The MMC/SD memory card can then be removed from the Lowrance device and mounted in the file system of a computer with an appropriate memory card reader hardware device. This new feature allows users to make recordings of SONAR echograms.

The SONAR echogram files are stored using a JPEG image compression algorithm.

The screen capture feature is provided in the latest software update from Lowrance.

--begin excerpt from Lowrance--

What changes are made in this update?

--Added Lowrance HD radar support via serial communications
--Added Greek language
--Added Polish language
--Added ability to take a screenshot capture of the display on the unit and save to a card/hard drive – In Screen Snapshot mode, use the power key to capture the screenshot
--Added Navionics Platinum support including 3D view and panoramic photos
--Added support for the Lowrance Broadband Sounder-1
--Updated language translations
--Improved sonar digital depth tracking in weeds and over bluffs
--Improved Navionics support
--Changed Map/Sonar/Radar page to be resizeable

Includes all features from previous updates, including:
--Modified backlighting properties
--Improved ethernet stability
--Moved the Cancel Navigation menu item to the top of the system menu
--Many modifications to radar settings and features
--Modified SD/MMC data storage properties
--Added support for HDM NMEA0183 sentence
--Improved Navionics card support
--Added sonar sharing over ethernet
--Modified Auto-Sensitivity feature
--Modified memory card reading functionality
--Enhanced Navionics support
--Enhanced NauticPath electronic chart support
--Enhanced sonar noise detection

--end excerpt from Lowrance--

Previously Lowrance SONAR devices were able to make sophisticated recordings of long series of echograms, but unfortunately this feature required use of a binary executable which was only available for users of the Windows operating system. The new screen capture feature works with any operating system that can display a JPEG image and can mount the file system on the MMC/SD card.

The ability to make a screen capture of a SONAR echogram will be of interest to many users of Lowrance sounders. Lowrance joins other manufacturers of recreational boat echo sounders who also offer this feature.

More Support for Non-Windows Operating Systems

In addition, Lowrance appears to be recognizing the existence of non-Windows operating systems computers. They have provided the update software package as a JAVA program that performs the download and transfer of the update package. The JAVA applet is provided as part of a web page link on the Lowrance web site. I tested this feature with my MacOS 10.4 system. It appeared to work perfectly, and the update package was transferred to my computer. If during the JAVA execution you have a MMC/SD read-write memory card mounted in a memory card writer, the JAVA program will store the file onto the MMC/SD memory card.

To upgrade the Lowrance device, you install the MMC/SD memory card in the slot on the sounder or electronic chart display device. When the device is turned on the upgrade is automatically executed.

By using a JAVA approach, Lowrance has made the upgrade process available to users of LINUX or the MacOS, in addition to its usual Windows software users.

I have a Lowrance LMS-520C on my bench for some testing, and I hope to be able to install the upgrade and obtain some screen captures.

jmorgan40 posted 04-06-2008 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jmorgan40  Send Email to jmorgan40     
Thanks for the update. I need to download that update. It must be warming up in the frigid north. I believe you have probably analyzed every option twice or maybe more. So have you made up your mind which unit you are going to purchase.
davej14 posted 04-06-2008 10:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
I was hoping to see support for the DSC or DSE NMEA 0183 sentences so the output from my Standard Horizon PS1000 radio could be used to display positions of other vessels on my Lorance LMS332c. I guess I am still waiting.

Note that if you are using an LC2000 external GPS antenna there is a software upgrade for the antenna that must be installed first.

jimh posted 04-07-2008 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Update on the update:

I was able to install the software update onto the Lowrance LMS-530c using the MacOS. Although the update page cautions that it may be necessary to change the permissions on the files, I did not find this to be needed. The download and installation of the update package onto my MMC/SD memory card worked perfectly.

I inserted the memory card into the slot of Lowrance LMS-520c and turned on the unit. The update installed in just a few seconds. The unit turned itself off. I hit the power button, and the unit came back to life with the new operating system installed.

I was able to accomplish the software update using only my MacOS computer. I think this is significant and Lowrance deserves credit for recognizing that not every boater owns a computer running the Windows operating system.

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